The cutter/slider could make a return for right-hander Dylan Bundy in the 2017 season. Bundy said it will, at least during spring training.
“I’ve been throwing it for about two weeks now and so far it feels great,” Bundy said this afternoon at FanFest. “I’m not throwing it at full speed or anything right now, but it is feeling good. I’ll bring it into spring, but I’ll try to limit it in games.”
Bundy went 10-6 with a 4.02 ERA last year over 36 games and 109 2/3 innings. Bringing this pitch back into his repertoire would give him four pitches to attack big league hitters and try to get deep into games. But Bundy said he is also confident he can have success using three pitches, as he did last year.
“I think I can do it (with three). It’s command,” he said. “It’s sequencing. It’s pitch location and having consistency every single start with just three pitches. The fourth one, yeah, it would help, but I don’t think I need it.”
So the cutter/slider is back, it seems - at least on an experimental basis.
“I think I’ve got a good chance (to make the roster),” Mancini said. “Just kind of how it’s been my whole career. I’m going to have to hit well and perform well in spring training and hopefully there is a spot for me come April.”
Despite the fact that Trumbo’s return could directly impact him, Mancini had plenty of praise for the veteran this afternoon.
“I’m really happy for Mark,” Mancini said. “He kind of took me under his wing a little last year in spring training. I had a locker next to him and he’s really an awesome guy. I’m happy for him that he got a deal.”
There still doesn’t seem to be much sentiment for the Orioles to try Mancini as an outfielder this season, but Mancini is up for that it it happens and has already prepared in case it does.
“I think anybody, if you play multiple positions, you’ll probably have a better chance I’d say. I’ve been practicing some outfield this offseason,” he said. “Just preparing in case they ask me to give it a try out there. Along with doing first base stuff and my normal routine. If that is asked of me, I’ll do it for sure.”
Mancini spent most of last year with Triple-A Norfolk. Over 125 games there, he hit .280/.349/.427 with 22 doubles, five triples, 13 homers and 54 RBIs. He was the O’s minor league Player of the Month for both April and July.
Then the call came and he hit went 5-for-14 in five big league games. He went 4-for-10 versus southpaws and took Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez and David Price and Arizona’s Robbie Ray deep.
Some debut over a period of just weeks.
“It was a whirlwind of a two and a half weeks when I was up here,” Mancini said. “It kind of took a few week of the offseason, being away, to realize I was in Sarasota and then you get a phone call and your life can change. I kind of reflected on all that during the first few weeks of the offseason of everything that happened and kind of got to appreciate it more.”